Summer ought to be a season when we’re able to rest well—a time we can spend with the Lord and His goodness. But, oftentimes, we actually fall out of healthy spiritual habits and end up trying to rest from the Lord instead of resting in Him.
That’s why we’ve created the Summer Selah Series. Over 40 days, we’ll be sharing daily devotions during a season where you may not feel very devoted.
Based on excerpts from his book Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion, Ross Lester, our Pastor of Preaching and West Congregation Pastor, will provide readings from select Psalms, a brief devotional reflection, and some prayer points for each of the 40 days.
Take some time to read Psalm 147. Then, come back and read the following verses again.
“His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.” (Psalm 147:10-11 ESV)
I have always been slightly insecure. I am moderately under-tall for a South African man, I am not exactly Brad Pittesque in looks or physique, and while I am a fairly capable guy, I don’t excel in any of the areas that the world looks to as critical success factors. I am a decent sportsman, but I was never the best at any sport (except when I played in church leagues, but winning there is like kissing your sister—altogether weird, unfulfilling, and rightly frowned upon by the rest of the world). I was decent at academics, but I didn’t win any awards or anything. I am fiscally responsible, but I am no Warren Buffett.
When one looks around at who society praises, it can become quite easy to feel like a failure. Magazine covers show us who really matter in the world, and the chance of me getting my face on one of those is pretty low unless they release an “average guy just living” magazine. I would buy that magazine, by the way.
We praise the exceptional. We worship them. They can do things that we cannot do, and so we cheer them on and align ourselves to them as fans because we feel like we can attach to their greatness in a way.
But, how does God measure success?
We often worship wrongly because we assume that God thinks like we do, but tucked away in Psalm 147 is some great news about the kind of people that please God. He measures differently to the way that we do. He isn’t impressed with physical strength and major earthly achievement. Verse 11 tells us that He takes pleasure—yes, pleasure—in the faithfulness and trust of ordinary people.
Ordinary people who obey God end up pleasing God massively.
Ordinary people who believe God when He says He loves them are the superstars of heaven.
He delights in us when we trust Him.
So today, instead of spending all your time considering how you don’t live up to the world’s standards of success, why don’t you please God by obeying Him and trusting Him? He doesn’t seem to care if you are not ripped and loaded, but He is pleased when you listen to Him.
He is much more concerned with your character than He is with your capabilities.
Father God, keep me faithful and teach me to value faithfulness more than anything else. Show me those areas where I am not being faithful and help me to return those to You.
Ross Lester, Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion (Magnolia, Texas: Lucid Books, 2017)